I agree with suzeeq about the circulars and a good worsted yarn. Circulars would be awesome for you to learn on. With most people, when they knit with straight needles, the weight of the work will bother their wrists. I wish someone would have told me years ago how awesome circulars are.
I suggest not getting a yarn that is too dark, bc it's harder to see your stitches with dark yarn. Also, I really recommend getting a yarn like Caron Simply Soft. Good luck, and don't forget to post your project in whatcha knittin.